The olive branch, a symbol of peace since Biblical times, can be found on coins and paper money, in religious, political and military imagery. Jesus carried an olive branch into Jerusalem. In Greek Mythology, Hercules wore a wreath of olive leaves as a symbol that he was a man of peace and power; and Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom, planted the first olive tree on the Acropolis. Roman soldiers were rewarded with crowns of olive leaves, and Roman leaders often extended the olive branch as a message of Peace. On the dollar bill and in many of our official government seals, the bald eagle holds an olive branch in its right talon.

With his dynamic, mystical rendering of “A Thousand Years of Peace,“ Samir Sammoun draws upon centuries of history and legend. The ancient olive grove depicted in this painting has survived for a thousand years on what is now Samir’s family land. These majestic trees are a frequent subject in his work because they give him a feeling of personal peace and tranquility.

At a point when humanity had reached complete hopelessness, a dove brought Noah a single olive sprig—a sign that hope for a peaceful future existed. In today’s turbulent, uncertain world, Samir offers us his trees with the same message—that hope and peace in the world should never vanish.

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